"I have eep-pie chic pieces," Valerie Engel, storeowner, tells us in a très sexy, yet chirpy French accent, standing amid the family of French brands that outline the Washington Ave. boutique's interior. Aside from all the exclusive French labels that comfortably hang in close proximity (but not too close) from one another, Roses and Dreams likes to set the mood.
And they are not playing around about roses. Faux Albertine roses ornament the store's crystalled chandelier hanging from the white, high ceilings. A matching white ladder with an equal share of roses intertwining it stands alone to the left of the cash register. Vintage pictures of Brigitte Bardot adorn the stark white walls of the flirty store; and the rich voice of Charlotte Gainsbourg is perhaps the icing on the savarin, taking us off the mean streets of South Beach and magically transporting those whom enter the sartorial-dreamland to the South of France. Get the pretty picture?
Still, as tough as we think Miami life can be, it's a picnic compared to the grueling likes of rat-race fashion meccas like Paris or New York - or at least Valerie seems to think so. "In Paris, people are struggling. Everyday is a struggle," the blonde 25-year old - strangely resembling Bridgette Bardot herself - tells us of the hefty dog-eat-dog competition in Paris.
The all-work-and-no-play lifestyle and the ridiculous taxes that come with living in the City of Lights really didn't sound too appealing to Engel. Even working as a merchandiser under the most coveted of roofs in the name of fashion - Chanel - couldn't stop her from saying ta-ta - or rather, au revoir - to her French homeland. And so she booked it to the land of less-is-more: Miami.